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Football TV rights: what is hiding the pressure from Canal +


Canal + wants a new call for tenders for all the TV rights of Ligue 1. One way to further reduce the price.

“The disaster continues.

“Like this club president, French professional football has lost its last illusions with the interview with Maxime Saada in Le Figaro.

The president of the management board of Canal + announces that he wants a new call for tenders for the broadcasting rights for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches, and not to negotiate over-the-counter on the matches left vacant by Mediapro.

A desire, of which the Professional Football League was warned on Monday, which could pull down the value of Ligue 1 and further weigh down French clubs.

What is Canal + looking for?

By asking to renegotiate all of the matches and putting its two matches per day on the mat, Canal intends to reduce the overall bill.

“Mediapro has shown that the L1 is not worth 1.156 billion euros.

But how much is it worth?

There will obviously be no consensus, explains Maxime Saada, who estimated the price of the hexagonal elite at 740 million euros during the previous call for tenders in 2018. I believe that the Ligue 1 product has been degraded in absolute.


“Saada speaks but we know very well that it is Vincent Bolloré (

Editor's note: owner of Canal +

) who decides.

Bolloré, we know very well that it is someone who is in the pure and hard balance of power, explains Pierre Maes, author of "The business of football TV rights, investigation into an explosive bubble".

In theory, if Canal finds itself alone, without competition, they will fix the price.

To date, no other potential broadcaster has come forward according to our information.


TV rights: why Canal + takes its time after the Mediapro fiasco

Behind the scenes, several observers also see in this announcement of the encrypted channel the desire to put pressure on the State in other cases, mentioned by Saada: the VAT at 5.5% for Canal + and the negotiations around the provision of works of French cinema.

A sector where the group invests heavily.

What about the new call for tenders?

Maxime Saada explains that Canal + wants the League to organize a new call for tenders to allocate the rights of Ligue 1. “Any agreement by mutual agreement for the takeover of the Mediapro lots would be legally questionable from a competitive point of view. because it would be contrary to the sports code, ”explains the strong man of the encrypted channel.

The latter is true.

Indeed, in France, the attribution of audiovisual rights is strictly regulated and must go through a call for tenders.

In the event of non-compliance with this obligation, the League could be sanctioned by the competition authority and the result of the call for tenders contested in court by potential broadcasters.

As Maxime Saada reminds us, “there can only be mutual agreement in the event of an unsuccessful invitation to tender.

However, there was none.


It is not the legal analysis of the League which considers that the failure of Mediapro de facto the unsuccessful nature of the call for tenders of 2018 and the possibility given to it to negotiate by mutual agreement with Canal + .

In the same way, the League refused the restitution of lot 3 by Canal +, considering that this lot sublicensed by beIN still belongs to the Qatari channel.

In any case, it will be up to the League's board of directors, which is expected to meet very soon, to determine the way forward.

Who will retransmit?

Until January 31, the Téléfoot channel owned by the Mediapro group will continue to broadcast the matches of the French Championship.

The judgment of December 22 between the League and the last Spanish group provides for "the continuation by Mediapro Sport France at its sole expense of the production of football matches and the broadcasting of audiovisual rights until January 31, 2021 at most".

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TV rights of French football: story of the Mediapro fiasco

Beyond that, according to our information, the Spanish group could continue its broadcasts.

But it will be necessary to discuss the financial conditions under which the continuation of these broadcasts could take place since today, it is the Spanish group which finances.

"If the League asks Mediapro to continue, there will be a discussion to avoid a black screen", explains a source familiar with the matter.

That said, an alternative exists since Maxime Saada offers the League to set up a pay-per-view (a payment per match) to which subscribers of Canal + or not would have access.

The encrypted channel then donates all revenues to L1 clubs.

What risk for French football?

“There will be bankruptcy filings very quickly.

Frankly, Canal is going to pay just enough to keep football alive.

But just ", table a president of Ligue 1." There will be breakage ", continues another leader.

The majority of French football players, who were already preparing to seriously tighten their budgets, will have to part ways with their top-rated players if the drop in rights increases.

“I don't think Bolloré has any feelings to see the French clubs pass rounds in the European Cup. For him, it is the

bottom line


Editor's note: the lowest level

) that counts, ”Pierre Maes analyzes. Behind the scenes, several close to the negotiations believe that the pay-per-view option mentioned by Maxime Saada could also create tensions between the clubs of the elite. "This system means favoring the big ones", fears a president. The very ones that Canal + wants to offer to its subscribers.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-01-12

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